It was odd to read A Moveable Feast while traveling through the Pyrenees during the holidays, down through southern France and into Pamplona. Because we couldn’t get away from Hemingway’s memory. It seemed everywhere we went there was a pamphlet touting his erstwhile presence or a cafe named in his honor.
I have mixed feelings about the book, as he betrayed the trust of his friends, though I guess in his defense he wasn’t given the opportunity not to publish it. He was, after all, dead. Knowing that F. Scott Fitzgerald was insecure about the size of his member and that Gertrude Stein begged her lesbian lover with pleas of “pussy, pussy” seem like details that not only do I not have a right to know but also ones that aren’t the slightest bit enriching.
At any rate, he gets this right about Paris:
…Nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.
Excuse me while I go translate my cell phone bill….